All patients, no matter who they are or where they live, deserve the highest quality cancer care.
Since its founding more than 50 years ago, ASCO has been committed to advancing health equity in cancer care.
ASCO has developed a wide range of resources to help its members and the larger cancer community better understand and address health equity issues in cancer research and care. Please continue to check back on this page for the latest updates on this initiative.
- ASCO Member Survey on Health Equity Awareness and Perceptions: ASCO recently surveyed its U.S. members to learn more about their understanding about and interest in addressing health equity issues in their professional practices.
- ASCO Education Collection on Cultural Literacy: This course collection is designed to help members of the oncology care team learn strategies to minimize bias and discrimination and understand best practices for improving access to care and patient outcomes
- The Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) Series: Created by 2020-2021 ASCO President Lori J. Pierce, MD, FASTRO, FASCO, the SDOH Series brings awareness to the barriers to care that patients experience, and generates discussion on modifiable risk factors for cancer. Watch a video or listen via podcast.
- JCO Oncology Practice Special Series: Disparities in Cancer Care for Black People in the United States: This new series explores the causes of disparities in cancer care and outcomes for Black people in the United States and examines potential solutions to begin to achieve health equity for this population.
- ASCO’s Statement on Addressing Racism in Oncology: The statement outlines the initiatives done just in the past year to address racism in oncology, and states clearly that ASCO is anti-racism.
- ASCO’s Health Equity Policy Statement: This statement calls for bolder, more aggressive steps to achieve equity for all individuals with cancer.
Diversity in Oncology Workforce Initiative
Increasing the diversity of healthcare providers is essential to ensure high-quality cancer care is delivered to every person. ASCO has a range of programs, including mentoring and other educational initiatives, to increase the diversity of the oncology workforce. Learn more.
Public Events & Media
ASCO shapes the public discussion on equity, diversity, and inclusion in cancer care and research through high-profile public events, commentaries, and media interviews.
- ASCO Virtual Roundtable “From Diagnosis to Treatment: Ensuring Equity in Precision Cancer Care”: The discussion brought together prominent voices in the oncology community to discuss the systemic and practice-level changes needed to improve equitable access to precision medicine advances.
- Stand Up 2 Cancer Webcast: ASCO President Lori Pierce joined Stand Up 2 Cancer for a live social media event focused on the work ASCO & Stand Up 2 Cancer are doing to increase diversity in cancer research and treatment.
- Atlantic Webcast: People v. Cancer Equity in Care: At a virtual event hosted by the Atlantic about equity in cancer care, Dr. Pierce spoke about increasing equity in clinical trials.
- Editorial: The Path to Health Equity Starts with Access to Care (Page 16): Dr. Pierce co-authored an op-ed with President of ACS-CAN, Lisa Lacasse, about addressing equity by increasing access to care.
- Editorial: Equitable Cancer Care: Steps Toward Meaningful Change: ASCO President Dr. Pierce (2020-2021) shares how a focus on equitable cancer care is shaping ASCO’s strategic plans.
Policy and Position Statements
ASCO has developed an extensive portfolio of policy and position statements focused on equity in cancer care in research. Statements include:
- Improving Diversity in Clinical Trial Participation (October 2020)
- Cancer Disparities and Health Equity (August 2020)
- Strategies for Reducing Cancer Health Disparities Among Sexual and Gender Minority Populations (April 2017)
- AACR, ACS, ASCO, and NCI Joint Statement on Cancer Health Disparities Research (July 2017)
- Improving the Evidence Base for Treating Older Adults With Cancer (July 2015)
- Opportunities in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to Reduce Cancer Care Disparities (August 2011)
- Disparities in Cancer Care (June 2009)
Equity Cancer Research
Below are recent studies, articles, and research initiatives focused on health equities in cancer care.
- 2020 Snapshot: State of the Oncology Workforce in America
- Closing the Rural Cancer Care Gap: Three Institutional Approaches
- ASCO-ACCC Initiative to Increase Participation of Racial and Ethnic Minority Populations in Cancer Treatment Trials
- 2020 Annual Meeting Health Disparities Abstracts
- 2020 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium Disparities Abstracts
- 2020 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium Disparities Abstracts
- 2018 Quality Care Symposium: Understanding and Addressing Disparities in Cancer Care
ASCO and Conquer Cancer would like to thank the following donors of the Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative.
Breast Cancer Research Foundation®
Bristol Myers Squibb
Massachusetts Society of Clinical Oncologists
Nebraska Oncology Society
Northern New England Clinical Oncology Society
Swim Across America
TAIHO Oncology, Inc.
Truist Charitable Fund